The Brussels office of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has poached Linklaters corporate partner Vincent Macq

Macq, who is from Linklaters‘ Belgian merger partner De Bandt van Hecke Lagae & Loesch, will join Freshfields at the end of January next year. As his departure is relatively amicable, he will continue at Linklaters in Brussels until the end of this year.

However, his move will still come as a blow to Linklaters, which suffered considerable fallout when it pushed through the merger with alliance partner De Bandt last autumn. Macq will rejoin former De Bandt colleague Chris Sunt, who left Linklaters during the merger and who is now a partner in Freshfields’ Brussels office.

Six other De Bandt partners, led by managing partner Roel Nieudorp, left the firm to join Loyens & Loeff following the decision to merge with Linklaters.

Macq has an M&A-focused practice based on top Belgian corporates. He also has an asset finance practice based on US consumer banks. It is thought that the US banks will follow him to Freshfields.

His recruitment fills a gap in Freshfields’ corporate practice. Sunt said: “The main reason we hired Vincent is that we want to have a culturally balanced M&A practice. We have a German national corporate partner and two Dutch-speaking partners. We lacked a native French speaker who would be a primary contact for Francophone lawyers and the French market.

“Vincent will also fit in culturally because he spent four years in New York and is used to working in an Anglo-Saxon environment.”